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Match Reports

REPORT: Town 1-1 MK Dons

8 April 2017

Jon Obika’s late goal handed Town what could be a valuable point in a 1-1 draw with MK Dons at The County Ground earlier today.


The Reds got off to a bright start as they attempted to strike first but they soon had to whether a storm with their guests grabbing the game by the scruff of the neck.


And it was MK who were able to take a lead in at the interval courtesy of Kieran Agard’s penalty.  


There was plenty of action to digest in the second-half and Jon Obika’s late goal rescued his side a share of the spoils, while both sides had chances to snatch all three points at the death.


Town opted to keep faith with a winning side for the third game in succession as they looked to give their survival hopes another huge boost.


It was another massive game for the Reds as they looked to make it three wins on the bounce and they made a good start in-front of a large and vocal crowd at a sun-kissed County Ground.


Conor Thomas’ low driven ball into the box, which was intended for Nicky Ajose, was cut out before John Goddard saw his attempted shot blocked.


Raphael Rossi-Branco then nodded wide from Charlie Colkett’s corner with the hosts pushing for an early opener.


It wasn’t long before MK began to threaten themselves and they came close to taking the lead on a couple of occasions after carving out the two best chances of the first-half.


Stuart O’Keefe turned his marker before thumping the post from distance, while Lawrence Vigouroux produced a superb stop to somehow keep out Kieran Agard’s shot with his legs after the frontman was presented with a golden opportunity inside the area.


Town composed themselves though and won a free-kick after Fankaty Dabo was brought down, but Nicky Ajose’s resulting set-piece came back off the MK wall.


Both sides were continuing to attempt to flex their attacking muscles in order to land the first blow as Colkett’s pass just had too much on it for Nicky Ajose, while Vigouroux got down well at the other end to deny Harvey Barnes.


The Reds had a shout for a penalty just shy of the half-hour mark after Ajose went down inside the box under a challenge from George Williams, but referee Graham Salisbury was quick to wave away the appeals.


MK then looked to add more insult to injury moments later as Barnes picked out Ed Upson inside the area, but the midfielder was knocked off-balance and was unable to get a strike away.


Chances were at a premium for Town and they were having to weather a storm at the other end with The Dons looking dangerous.


O’Keefe found Reeves inside the area with a sublime pass and the latter’s first-time effort was smothered by Vigouroux who got down well, before Reeves bent a free-kick over the bar.


Reeves tried his luck again minutes later as his audacious strike from distance flew inches over the bar, but the visitors would fare better just before half-time.


The impressive Reeves burst into the box and his run was brought to an end by Colkett which led to Graham Salisbury pointing to the spot, and Kieran Agard made no mistake from twelve-yards to give MK the lead.


Town did have a chance to haul themselves level before the break but Rohan Ince couldn’t get his head to Colkett’s corner.


Swindon nearly made a dream start to the second-half as Colkett’s clever pass set his side on the counter from an MK corner, but Goddard opted to go it alone with Ajose in space and his shot was turned aside by Lee Nicholls.


Dion Conroy had an opportunity to make himself a hero from the resulting corner but he could only poke wide, before George Baldock saw his strike deflected wide at the other end.


Joe Walsh sent a tame header straight at Vigouroux from the resulting set-piece while Obika was inches away from restoring parity at the other end but his glanced header flicked off the outside of the post.


MK then nearly hit Town with a sucker-punch as Barnes found himself in space before planting an effort against the woodwork.


With time rapidly ticking away, the Reds opted to freshen things up with Ben Gladwin replacing Goddard.


But Town were still being frustrated in their efforts to draw level as Ince blasted wide, while Upson went close to doubling his side’s advantage with his half-volley flying inches past the post.


And The Dons continued to press for a second goal with Upson thudding an effort against the top of the crossbar moments after James Brophy had replaced Dabo for the hosts.


Barnes’ pass was then hooked away by Conroy with Robbie Muirhead waiting to pounce, although the defender hurt himself in the process and he was soon replaced by Brad Barry after being unable to continue.


But Town soon recovered and began to heap plenty of pressure on their opposition in the search for a much-needed equaliser.


Gladwin blasted over from distance before Colkett’s corner was headed into the direction of Obika, who sent an overhead kick inches over the bar.


The striker looked to make his mark moments later but he couldn’t keep his strike down after turning his marker emphatically.


Town were throwing everything forward in a desperate attempt to find an equaliser but luck didn’t appear to be on their side with Ajose dragging a shot wide.


The Reds then went close again as Rossi-Branco swung a cross into the penalty area but Thomas’ close-range effort was deflected behind.


But Town’s persistence paid off late on as they grabbed a vital goal in the dying minutes for the third game on the trot, Obika latching onto a loose pass before slotting home with aplomb.


There was still time for some drama at either end of the pitch however as Upson somehow ballooned over despite being one-on-one with Vigouroux, while Rossi-Branco planted a header wide at the death.


TEAMS AND STATS:


SCORERS - Kieran Agard (43), Jon Obika (90).


TOWN - Vigouroux; Thompson (C), Conroy (Brad Barry 73), Rossi-Branco, Dabo (James Brophy 68); Ince, Colkett, Goddard (Ben Gladwin 59), Thomas; Obika, Ajose.


Subs Not Used - Henry, Rodgers, Starkey, Barry, Norris.


MK DONS - Nicholls; Baldock, Williams, Walsh, Lewington (C); Upson, O’Keefe, Potter; Reeves (Paul Downing 56), Agard (Robbie Muirhead 63), Barnes (Callum Brittain 88).


Subs Not Used - Martin, Bowditch, Tilney, Thomas-Asante.


Referee - Graham Salisbury


BOOKINGS:


TOWN - Rohan Ince, Charlie Colkett.


MK DONS - Joe Walsh, Dean Lewington.


ATTENDANCE - 7,946 (589).


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